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Wildlife (and not so wild) Encounters

20 Oct 2022 1:28 PM | Kirk Astroth (Administrator)
Wildlife encounters are common while mountain biking Tucson trails. Please do not approach, harass, or kill wildlife. Likewise, do not chase or harass cattle or horses you may come across on some trails on leased land. Here are some specific tips.
  • Snakes & Reptiles: DO NOT kill snakes, even rattlesnakes. This is their territory and most will move off given the chance. Being bitten is rare unless you get too close. Gila monsters are often seen along some of our trails. As with snakes, let them alone and they will go away on their own. Horned lizards are also common. Leave them along and do not pick them up as their defense system is often to spray blood at you from small vessels near their eyes.
  • Tortoises: Desert tortoises are often seen, especially after a rain. Do NOT pick them up to move them off the trail. They will often expel all their urine out of fear and this leaves them without any water reserves so they will die. Again, like with snakes, let them move off the trail on their own or go around them.
  • Predators: Coyotes, badgers, and others should be left alone. Do not harass them and let them alone. Give them room to escape. Mountain lion sightings can be common out on the trails.  Do not run or bike away. Try to look large—hold up your bike. Wave arms, spread out a jacket if you are wearing one. Throw rocks or sticks. If attacked, fight back.
  • Birds: Raptors and scavengers are common on our trails. Owls can be seen on some trails (Enchanted Hills Tecolote Trail is named for the owls nesting in the cliffs). Again, leave them in peace. Take photos from a distance.
  • Deer, cattle, horses, and other grazers. Again, let them alone. Do not harass or chase them. Do not ride up on stock dams and say at least ¼ mile away from water sources. Leave gates as you find them unless you find an open gate that is posted with a sign that says to keep the gate closed. Then close it.

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PO Box 65075, Tucson AZ 85718

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